Posted by: KStrate | November 22, 2008

Terrapin Brewery: Something Fun to do Over Thanksgiving

Last weekend, my cousin, Will, came to visit me in Athens.  He drove all the way down here from UT, and I really wanted to show him some fun places in Athens.  Will has varied interests, one of them being home beer breweries.  I thought taking him to the Terrapin Brewery would be a fun activity that both of us could enjoy.  I hadn’t been there, either, so it was a first time for the both of us.img_0546

To get to Terrapin Brewery, go West on Prince Avenue, turn right on Chase Street, and then turn left when it basically dead ends (Newton Bridge Road), and the Brewery is down on your left.  It’s in a big, white warehouse.  You have to look kind of close for the sign, FYI.

I would like to preface by saying I didn’t expect anyone to be there. It was a cold, wintery day (a perfect one for beer-drinking), so I don’t know why I didn’t realize there would be over a hundred people already in the place!

We walked into the tour door, showed our IDs, and bought our tickets.  One glass (a custom Terrapin one that you get to keep 🙂 ) is $8.  You also get eight tickets that go with it.  In the warehouse, about two-thirds of the space is used for brewing, and one third is used for entertainment.  img_0549

When Will and I left the gift shop/reception/ticket area, we walked into the warehouse.  Again, I had no clue that so many people would be there, but I was so surprised to see about ten, ten-person tables and many other smaller tables scattered about and FULL of people!  There was also a cornhole game that was obviously occupied.

Here’s how the ticket process works: there are six beers on tap.  Four of them are worth one ticket, and two of them are worth two tickets. So, technically, you could drink eight beers for eight dollars.

I think that’s the best deal in town, don’t you think?

So, Will and I headed to the bar, ordered the brew, gave the man our ticket, and sat down for a while to hear the live band that was playing (doesn’t this story kep getting better??).

Next came the tour.  We were in the first group to go (which was good because we thought the tour guide kept getting tipsier with each one.)  First, we learned about the history of the company outside by the grain silo.  Then, we were taken inside and learned about the brewing process and everything.  Maybe Will can comment about all the brewing details, but I don’t know enough to make myself sound intelligent about it.img_0566

After the tour, we stayed around for an hour or two.  No, we did NOT finish all of our tickets because we had plans to see the 007 movie afterwards.  I guess I should talk about the beer, since we didn’t have any food.

I think my favorite brew is the SunRay wheat, but Will really liked the Big Hoppy Monster (one of the higher alcohol level beers).  I think beer always tastes better when you’re in an atmosphere like that.  It’s fun to sit with people you wouldn’t usually see, in a warehouse, in your coats (because there’s not really any heat).

When we left, we hit up the gift shop to buy a T-shirt (Will bought two.), and then headed out.

If you’re a student, a semi-permanent resident, or whatever, I hope you’ll be sure to visit the Terrapin Brewery.

I’m sure some of you have been there before. Tell us about your experience!

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

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Responses

  1. I love going to Terrapin! I’ve volunteered there a few times but have never made it to a tour (yet). It’s such a homey atmosphere…even with the huge metal vats. Glad to see you deemed it worthy of an out-of-towner’s tourism experience! Happy Thanksgiving break!

  2. I love Terrapin! The first time I went, my friends insisted on spending the full 2 hours using up our drink tickets… but I went back and took some videos of the tour, which you can see at http://athens-lifeunleashed.blogspot.com/2008/11/terrapin-round-2.html if you want to see what you’re missing – or if you’ve been to the brewery but have yet to take the tour 🙂

  3. The crowd wasn’t just an oddity on the day of your visit; I hear from the Brew Crew that they’re drawing hundreds for every tour/tasting date offered (currently every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 5:30 – 7:30). Which would make them one of the most successful Athens Attractions launches ever. The crowds were there even before CNN profiled them! The CNN video piece is at http://athens-lifeunleashed.blogspot.com/2008/11/terrapin-beer-co-on-cnn.html
    I wonder if their holiday tours were full? They’d promo’d them as a great activity for visiting relatives, which is pretty genius, I think– don’t just sit around with the in-laws arguing religion or politics, take ’em out and show ’em a good time! Just be sure not to reintroduce those hot topics post-tasting, and you’ll be okay!


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